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10/15/2012 



Task Force on Teacher Leadership 
and Compensation 

Final Report 




Senate File 2284 



State Board of Education 

Rosie Hussey, President, Clear Lake 



Iowa Department of Education 

Grimes State Office Building 
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146 




Charles C. Edwards, Jr., Vice President, Des Moines 
Diane Crookham-Johnson, Oskaloosa 
Sister Jude Fitzpatrick, West Des Moines 
Michael Knedler, Council Bluffs 
Valorie Kruse, Sioux City 
Mike May, Spirit Lake 
Max Phillips, Woodward 
LaMetta Wynn, Clinton 

McKenzie Baker, Student Member, Forest City 
Administration 

Jason E. Glass, Director and Executive Officer of the State Board of Education 
Gail M. Sullivan, Chief of Staff 

Director's Office 

Ryan Wise, Policy Fellow 



It is the policy of the Iowa Department of Education not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender 
identity, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, political party affiliation, or actual or potential parental, family or marital status in its 
programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code sections 2 1 6.9 and 256. 1 0(2), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights 
Act of 1 964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1 973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.). Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 
U.S.C.§§ 1 68 1 - 1 688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1 973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 1 2 1 1 , 
et seq.). 

If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by the Iowa Department of Education, please contact the legal 
counsel for the Iowa Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 503 1 9-0 1 46, telephone number 5 1 5/28 1 -5295, or 
the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, INN. Canal Street, Suite 1 053, Chicago, IL 60606-7204. 



Iowa Department of Education 



Page | I 



Table of Contents 

Senate File 2284 3 

Task Force Membership 4 

Meeting Schedule 7 

Introduction 8 

Executive Summary 9 

Recommendations 12 

Conclusion 26 

References 27 

Appendices 28 

Appendix A. Sample Selection Process 28 

Appendix B. Salary Calculations 28 

Appendix C. Iowa Career Pathways Compensation Proposal 29 

Appendix D. Other Career Pathway Examples 30 

Appendix E. Iowa Professional Development Model 31 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 2 



Senate File 2284 

The Iowa Legislature established a Teacher Performance, Compensation, and Career 
Development Task Force in Senate File 2284 and provided the following charge: 

1 . The director of the department of education shall appoint, and provide staffing 
services for, a teacher performance, compensation, and career development task 
force to develop recommendations for a new teacher compensation system to 
replace the current teacher compensation system which addresses, at a minimum, 
the following: 

a. Duties and responsibilities of apprentice, career, mentor, and master teachers. 

b. Utilizing retired teachers as mentors. 

c. Strategic and meaningful uses of finite resources and the realignment of resources 
currently available. 

d. Mechanisms to substantially increase the average salary of teachers who assume 
leadership roles within the profession. 

e. Standardizing implementation of task force recommendations in all of Iowa's 
school districts and public charter schools. 

2. The task force shall also propose a peer coaching pilot project to expand excellence 
in the teaching profession. The proposal shall include recommendations for peer 
coaching criteria goals, strategies, documentation of progress, incentives for 
participation, and program evaluation. 

While Senate File 2284 established the task force in Iowa Code, the group initially was 
established on February 15, 2012, as the Task Force on Teacher Leadership and 
Compensation. 

A blueprint for education released by the Branstad-Reynolds administration in October 
201 1 included plans to redesign educator career pathways, to create teacher leadership 
roles, and to revise the compensation structure to support this new educator career 
structure. Because changes that involve compensation in education generate large 
cost implications and many questions, the Branstad-Reynolds administration's final 
recommendations for world-class schools called for a task force to study the career 
structure and compensation plan in 201 2. The group's work began before the end of 
the legislative session because of the importance of moving forward on these issues. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 3 



Task Force Membership 

Teresa Bellinghausen, Heartland AEA/Professional Learning and Leadership 
Consultant, Johnston 

Connie Boesen, Des Moines Public Schools/Board Member, Des Moines 
Molly Boyle, Waukee Community School District/Third-Grade Teacher, Waukee 
Mary Jane Cobb, Iowa State Education Association/Executive Director, Des Moines 
Mike Cormack, Iowa Department of Education/Policy Liaison, Des Moines 
Tom Downs, Iowa Association of School Boards/Executive Director, Des Moines 
Paul Gausman, Sioux City Community School District/Superintendent, Sioux City 
Jason Glass, Chair, Iowa Department of Education/Director, Des Moines 

Jessica Gogerty, Roosevelt High School/School Improvement Leader 1 , Des Moines 

Jodie Graham, Ankeny High School/Assistant Principal 2 , Ankeny 

Justin Gross, Nevada High School/Principal, Nevada 

Julie Heller, Central High School/Behavior Interventionist, Davenport 

Kent Henning, Grand View University/President, Des Moines 

Angie Jandrey, Mount Pleasant Community School District/Kindergarten Teacher, 
Mount Pleasant 

Ann Lebo, Grundy Center High School and Hawkeye Community College/English 
Teacher, Grundy Center 

Duane Magee, Iowa Board of Educational Examiners/Executive Director 3 , Des Moines 
Mike May, Businessman 4 , Spirit Lake 

1 North High School/ School Improvement Leader at time of appointment to task force 

2 Humboldt Middle School/ Principal at time of appointment to task force 

3 Waukee Community School District/ Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at time of 
appointment to task force 

4 Also current State Board of Education member and retired teacher 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 4 



Isaiah McGee, Iowa Department of Education/Program Consultant, Des Moines 

Kent Mick, Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne Community School District/History Teacher and 
Curriculum Coordinator, Corwith 

Diane Pratt, Fort Dodge Community School District/Talented & Gifted Teacher, Fort 
Dodge 

Carl Smith, Iowa State University/Professor, School of Education, Ames 
Dan Smith, School Administrators of Iowa/Executive Director, Clive 
David Stoakes, Retired 5 , Cedar Falls 

Denny Wulf, Norwalk Community School District/Superintendent, Norwalk 
Don Zuck, Retired 6 , Ankeny 



5 Cedar Falls School District/ Superintendent at time of appointment to task force 

6 Ankeny Economic Development Corp./ Executive Director at time of appointment to task force 

Iowa Department of Education Page | 5 



Non-Voting Task Force Membership 

Linda Fandel, Office of the Governor/Special Assistant for Education, Des Moines 

Phil Wise, Iowa Department of Education/Policy Advisor to the Director, Des Moines 

Ryan Wise, Task Force Facilitator, Iowa Department of Education/Policy Fellow 7 , Des 
Moines 



7 Also doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education 

Iowa Department of Education Page | 6 



2012 Meeting Schedule 



Date 


City 


Facility 


Time 


March 2 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


Noon to 4 p.m. 


April 20 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 


May 11 


Clive 


School Administrators of 
Iowa 


10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


June 8 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


July 27 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


August 17 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 


September 21 


Des Moines 


Iowa Department of 
Education/Grimes Building 


9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


September 28 


Des Moines 


Ola Babcock Miller Building 


10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 7 



Introduction 

Our goal is improvement. By most accounts, Iowa's schools are just as good - if not 
better - than they have ever been. But regardless of past successes or existing 
capacity, our schools can and must be better than they are today. The state has a 
proud history of commitment to its schools and to providing Iowa's children the best 
future possible through an education system built for quality. 

But Iowa does not make the journey toward building a top-quality education system 
alone. Other states around the United States and (perhaps more importantly) other 
education systems around the world have also engaged in efforts to dramatically 
improve their schools. While Iowa's schools are still good, several other systems have 
been able to make whole-system changes and have seen marked improvements. Many 
of these systems have now equaled or surpassed Iowa's historical educational 
achievements. 

The global and instantaneous nature of our world now compels us to take up, with 
steadfast resolve, the systemic work of dramatically improving Iowa's school system. 
This work is necessary and important because the future of Iowa's children is what is at 
stake. As generations of lowans have done before, it is our turn and our responsibility 
to make a significant and focused effort to improve Iowa's schools. 

At the heart of every Iowa community is a school, and within these schools are 
educators who do their very best to teach our children. These educators are worthy and 
deserving of our respect and appreciation. The work of this task force focuses on 
putting in place a new vision for the teaching profession, with far greater supports and 
career opportunities than have been previously available. 

The recommendations contained within this document are the result of a collaborative 
and inclusive process. We used a consensus-based process to arrive at these 
recommendations, meaning the membership of the entire task force stands behind each 
recommendation in this document. 

Iowa's children deserve nothing less than an educator workforce of the highest caliber, 
and Iowa's teachers deserve a thoughtful system of professional supports and career 
pathways. In the strongest possible terms, we recommend that the Iowa Legislature 
and the Governor work together to implement and sustain the transformational vision of 
the teaching profession contained in this document. We further call upon those within 
the education community to take up these recommendations with the same open heart 
and hopeful spirit with which they were developed. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 8 



Executive Summary 

We developed a theory of action that describes how our recommendations will move 
Iowa toward achieving its vision of providing a world-class education for all students. 
Simply put, a theory of action helps us be explicit about what we are doing, why we are 
choosing a particular course of action, and how we expect our actions will lead to 
improved outcomes (Curtis and City, 2009). Our theory of action is as follows: 

If we effectively compensate teachers; recruit and promote excellent teachers and 
provide support as they collaborate reflectively to refine their practice; create the 
political will and understanding necessary to remake the status of the teaching 
profession; give highly effective teachers opportunities to grow, refine, and share their 
expertise; and develop a clear system with quality implementation, then... student 
learning will increase, student outcomes will improve, and students will be prepared to 
succeed in a globally competitive environment. 

The development of a statewide leadership and compensation framework will help 
accomplish six key goals. Iowa will... 

1) Attract able and promising new teachers by offering a more competitive starting 
salary and a variety of enhanced career opportunities. 

2) Retain the most effective teachers in teaching (as opposed to administration or to 
leaving the field altogether) by providing enhanced career opportunities. 

3) Encourage professional growth in teaching practice by recognizing and 
rewarding teachers who seek out learning opportunities aligned with local goals. 

4) Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in 
schools, districts, and statewide to learn from each other. 

5) Reward initiative and competence by creating pathways for career opportunities 
that come with increased leadership and compensation. 

6) Improve student performance by strengthening instruction. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 9 



During the course of our work, four themes emerged that undergird each of our 
recommendations: 

1) A systemic approach 

The task force engaged in a wide range of discussions over nearly seven 
months. One imperative was clear from the beginning - the necessity to take a 
systemic approach to our work. What this means is that we examined each of 
the links in the human capital pipeline: the connections between training, entry 
into the profession, ongoing support, and career development. For a 
compensation and leadership system to work, it truly must be a system and not 
separate components that function in isolation. 

2) Loose-tight leadership 

Iowa has a strong tradition of local control. The task force's recommendations 
strike a balance that both honors this tradition and provides sufficient direction to 
ensure excellence in every classroom. We believe that the best way to do this is 
to be "loose" in areas that call for autonomy and have the potential to spur 
innovation and "tight" on the essential, non-negotiable components of the system 
necessary to ensure success. We have attempted to distinguish between the 
two throughout this report. 

3) A focus on implementation 

Iowa has never had a shortage of good ideas designed to improve education. In 
fact, many of these ideas have found their way into state statute. What we have 
lacked, however, is consistent funding coupled with fidelity of implementation. 
The recommendations detailed in this report will take root and achieve the 
intended purpose if, and only if, adequate resources are provided, systemic 
implementation occurs, and feedback cycles are developed, which will ensure 
stability and nurture improvement over time. 

4) Evidence-based best practices 

In recent years, the field of education has become an ideological battleground. 
The task force endeavored to avoid becoming a casualty in this war by making 
recommendations grounded in research and proven to be effective in both the 
United States and abroad. While each of the 25 members of this task force 
brought a diverse set of experiences and a unique perspective about what is 
needed to strengthen education in Iowa, we bridged our differences by 
consistently returning to the practices most common to successful systems. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 



With this approach in mind, the task force makes the following recommendations: 

1) Create and fund multiple, meaningful, and well-designed career pathway 
opportunities open to all teachers in Iowa. 

2) Establish a pathway that utilizes the wisdom and expertise of educators who are 
not currently practicing, including retired teachers. 

3) Review existing allocations and use these funds strategically to enhance teacher 
compensation and create leadership opportunities. 

4) Appropriate new money for the explicit purposes of raising base pay to a 
competitive level and creating additional leadership opportunities for teachers. 

5) Establish a Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation to ensure 
consistent and successful implementation. 

6) Collaborate with districts implementing a mechanism for piloting peer assistance 
and coaching programs. 

7) Incentivize teachers to teach in locally and state-defined hard-to-staff subjects 
and high-need schools. 

8) Build upon existing policy and statute, and provide adequate, sustained funding 
and implementation support for teacher leadership. 

9) Set the boundaries of the system, but allow districts to customize. 

10) Provide time for local planning and implementation inclusive of teachers in the 
decision-making process. 

11) Require districts to implement professional development structures aligned with 
the Iowa Professional Development Model that support each career pathway, 
and utilize teacher leaders to ensure continuous collaboration on student growth. 

12) Coordinate the development of teacher leadership pathways with teacher 
preparation programs. 

1 3) Create a residency year for entry into the teaching profession to build a more 
seamless transition from teacher preparation to practice/employment. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | I I 



Our Recommendations 

1) Create and fund multiple, meaningful, and well-designed career pathway 
opportunities open to all teachers in Iowa. 

Teachers should have multiple, meaningful, and well-designed career pathway 
opportunities open to them. These career pathways should expand career options 
through recognition of professional growth, leadership, and effectiveness. While career 
pathways may look different among districts and schools, the task force has developed 
a set of duties and responsibilities along a continuum of growth that would serve as a 
model for schools in their development of a teacher Career pathway system (please see 
Figure 1 and the descriptions provided below). School districts may develop alternative 
models that align with the principles of the model described here. 

Figure 1 



Career 




Initial Teachers 

An Initial Teacher is defined as any teacher in his/her first two years of teaching. Initial 
Teachers are evaluated annually. While the duties and responsibilities are described 
for each of the two years for illustrative purposes, it is important to keep in mind that 
supports should be tailored to the teacher and not affixed to a rigid timeline. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

• Year 1 : The first year for all new teachers in Iowa should be considered 
their residency year. This approach is similar to the medical profession. 
Teachers in their residency year have completed their degrees and work 
full time under intensive supervision. The residency builds upon Iowa's 
strong foundation of new teacher induction and mentoring and deepens 
this support by adding more supervision and opportunities for capacity- 
building. In addition, the residency year includes a reduced teaching load 
to allow the resident to observe Model, Mentor, and Lead Teachers. 
Please see pages 24 and 25 for a complete description of the residency. 

Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 2 



• Year 2 : Daily, intensive support tapers off as the teacher assumes a full 
teaching load. During the second year as an Initial Teacher, teachers 
meet at least bi-weekly with their Mentor Teachers to plan, evaluate, and 
discuss their teaching. At the end of the second year, the relevant 
building leadership determines if the Initial Teacher will become a Career 
Teacher, receive another year as an Initial Teacher, or be released from 
teaching and not recommended for standard licensure. 

Career Teachers 

A Career Teacher is defined as a teacher who has successfully completed the 
initial phase, is not in his/her first two years of teaching, and has either decided 
not to apply to become a Mentor, Model or Lead Teacher, or was not selected for 
one of these pathways. Career Teachers, per legislation, participate in peer 
reviews annually and demonstrate competency on the Iowa Teaching Standards. 

Career Teachers have chosen to hone their craft through full-time teaching. 
Teachers will choose this pathway for many reasons. They may want to focus on 
teaching children rather than adults and thereby remain in the classroom full 
time; they may have other significant responsibilities at their schools, such as 
coaching athletic teams or sponsoring activities; or they may be limited in the 
additional duties they can assume because of commitments outside of school. 
Regardless of the reason that a teacher chooses this pathway, it is one that 
provides opportunities both for professional growth and increased compensation 
(albeit at a slower rate than other pathways). In addition, the career pathway has 
permeable boundaries, which enable teachers to serve in Mentor or Lead 
Teacher roles for one or more years and later resume duties as a Career 
Teacher. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

• Teaches a full load of classes 

• Participates in professional development that is focused on areas for 
professional growth 

Model Teacher 

A Model Teacher is defined as a teacher who has successfully completed the 
initial phase, is not in his/her first two years of teaching, and has been selected 
through a locally developed process to become a Model Teacher (see Appendix 
A for a recommended selection model). 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 3 



A Model Teacher has demonstrated mastery of the Iowa Teaching Standards 
and desires to open his/her classroom on a regular basis for teachers from the 
school, district, and state to observe. A Model Teacher exemplifies best 
practices and maintains a direct classroom connection. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

• Host student teachers, resident and Initial Teachers, and peers 

• Invite learners to their classrooms 

• Agree to have their names placed on a statewide database 

Mentor Teacher 

A Mentor Teacher is defined as a teacher who has successfully completed the 
initial phase, is not in his/her first two years of teaching, and has been selected 
through a locally developed process to become a Mentor Teacher. Mentor 
Teachers, per legislation, participate in peer reviews annually and demonstrate 
competency on the Iowa Teaching Standards. They receive feedback on the 
quality of their mentorship (through surveys of their mentees). In addition, Mentor 
Teachers receive professional development in leading adult learners. 

The mentor pathway allows teachers to expand their impact beyond their own 
classrooms by helping develop instructional leadership in other teachers. While 
the term "Mentor Teacher" may imply that this career pathway is limited simply to 
teaching and mentoring other teachers, we believe there is a range of additional 
roles that a teacher in this pathway may fulfill. These roles include, but are not 
limited to, the following: Professional Learning Community (PLC) Leader, Peer 
Coach, Building/District Initiatives Leader, statewide task force representative, 
liaison with university faculty for resident teachers, Collaborative Leader, and 
Curriculum/Differentiation Coordinator. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

• Teach a 70 percent schedule and spend the other 30 percent of the time 
working with their student teachers, Initial, Career, or Model Teachers 

• Meet at least bi-weekly with their Initial Teachers and Career Teachers as 
needed to plan, develop, and teach lessons 

• Participate in the peer review process 

• Plan and deliver professional development for their Initial and Career 
Teachers in conjunction with a Lead Teacher 

Mentor Teachers are given an extended contract annually to be trained in peer 
review/coaching and in leading adult learners. In addition, Mentor Teachers 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 14 



typically are part of a school-wide Instructional Leadership Team comprised of 
Mentor Teachers, building administrators, and Lead Teachers. The team meets 
weekly to plan professional development and to identify specific areas of need for 
which they will provide training to every teacher in the building. 

Lead Teacher 

A Lead Teacher is defined as a teacher who has successfully completed the 
initial phase, is not in his/her first two years of teaching, and has been selected 
through a locally developed process to become a Lead Teacher. Lead Teachers 
participate in peer reviews annually and demonstrate competency on the Iowa 
Teaching Standards. In addition, Lead Teachers receive professional 
development in leading adult learners. 

The Lead Teacher pathway differs from the Mentor Teacher pathway as the bulk 
of the Lead Teacher's time is focused on strengthening the quality of instruction 
throughout the building. This pathway will appeal to those teachers who want the 
opportunity to be instructional leaders in their schools, but also want to maintain 
a presence in the classroom. Teachers may choose to become a Lead Teacher 
for a year or more and then return to the Career, Model, or Mentor pathway. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

• Teach a maximum of 50 percent of the time. The rest of their time is 
spent co-teaching, observing, co-planning, and evaluating student 
teachers, as well as Initial, Career, Model, and Mentor Teachers 

• Facilitate the Instructional Leadership Team 

• Plan and deliver professional development 

2) Establish a pathway that utilizes the wisdom and expertise of educators 
who are not currently practicing, including retired teachers. 

While many districts utilize retired teachers, the state should provide a framework for 
more consistently and effectively tapping their wisdom and expertise. We recommend 
the creation of an Emeritus Teacher role. This role is similar to the higher education 
designation of emeritus status, which is earned and granted as the result of a process in 
which the candidate has demonstrated his or her ability. We believe that retired 
teachers have much to offer the profession, and this pathway provides that opportunity. 
Emeritus Teachers could be considered part of the candidate pool for both Mentor and 
Lead Teacher roles, provided they meet the same rigorous criteria for selection and 
agree to similar job responsibilities. Emeritus Teachers would not have their own 
classes and would not work full time. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 5 



3) Review existing allocations and use these funds strategically to enhance 
teacher compensation and create leadership opportunities. 

The Iowa Department of Education, the Governor, and the Iowa Legislature should 
further review all existing allocations to determine if these sources could be used more 
strategically to enhance teacher compensation and create leadership opportunities. 
Any review of the use of existing funds for repurposing should strongly consider the 
impact of a redirection of those funds. While we support the further examination of the 
use of current funds, we believe the task force recommendations for a new 
compensation and leadership system will have the greatest possible impact through the 
infusion of additional financial resources. 

Local school districts also will need to make decisions about the allocation of their 
current resources in combination with new, sustainable state money to ensure they 
achieve the goal of improving teacher compensation and providing additional leadership 
opportunities. 

In considering how districts compensate teachers for earning graduate credit and 
degrees, we recommend that districts consider the following principles while honoring 
their previous agreements: 

• Graduate degrees in the content area of the teacher's licensure should continue 
to qualify for pay increases. Such degrees deepen content knowledge, which is a 
characteristic of high-performing teachers. 

• Graduate degrees in education (e.g., Master of Education with concentrations in 
curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, administration, etc.) should 
qualify for increased compensation if they are strategically aligned with a school's 
particular needs, goals, and objectives of school improvement efforts. 

Finally, the use and realignment of resources must be strategically and thoughtfully 
linked to efforts and activities that result in student success. The public ultimately must 
have confidence that the infusion of additional resources will produce measurable 
results in attracting promising teachers to the profession, retaining those teachers, and 
improving student learning. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 6 



4) Appropriate new money for the explicit purposes of raising base pay to a 
competitive level and creating additional leadership opportunities for 
teachers. 

The Legislature should appropriate new money for the explicit purposes of raising base 
pay to a competitive level and creating additional leadership opportunities for teachers. 
This money should not be one-time funding, but must be maintained over time. 

If we look at the highest-performing education systems in the world, we see that they 
prioritize teacher quality, which includes offering competitive compensation (OECD, 
201 1). This approach has improved both student achievement and the attractiveness of 
the teaching profession. Accordingly, the base and average pay of teachers in Iowa 
should be in line with that of other professions with similar educational requirements, 
leadership responsibilities, and time commitments. 

Based upon our calculations (see Appendix B), we estimate that this would produce an 
average starting base salary in the range of $40,000 - $45,000. While this range may 
not be feasible for many of the state's smaller districts, we recommend that the state 
raise the required minimum salary from the current minimum of $28,000 to $35,000 over 
a three-year phased-in implementation period. 

In addition to raising the starting base pay, the state should develop a mechanism to 
have the base salary increase with inflationary pressures and periodically benchmark 
the teaching profession against other professional options. For example, the state 
might require beginning pay increases at the same percentage as those of other 
teachers in a district. Alternatively, the state might consider using state-level cost-of- 
living changes. A mechanism to increase the base pay over time is essential to ensure 
that salaries do not languish near the minimum level for years to come. 

Finally, based on our analysis of other systems, we recommend that the movement 
from Initial to Career should be a rigorous, earned process that is rewarded with a 
recommended minimum 10 percent increase in salary, and that subsequent moves from 
Career to Mentor and Mentor to Lead each be rewarded with a similar increase in salary 
or come with equivalent compensation for additional contract days and leadership 
responsibilities (see Appendix C for a proposed career pathways compensation 
proposal for Iowa and Appendix D for examples from the TAP system, Baltimore, and 
Eagle County, Colorado). Teachers who choose to stay within one career pathway 
(after entering the career pathway) should receive annual salary increases. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 7 



No changes made by legislation should result in any teacher experiencing a reduction in 
compensation at the time of transition to this new system and throughout the initial 
implementation of that legislation. 

Any changes at the school district level that result from new legislation on teacher 
compensation and leadership opportunities should not harm any teacher's potential 
lifetime career earnings. 

5) Establish a Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation to 
ensure consistent and successful implementation. 

We recommend the establishment of a standing Commission on Educator Leadership 
and Compensation. We believe that this body will be a vital resource to the Iowa 
Department of Education and to the education community in implementing the teacher 
compensation and leadership system, lowans need to feel confident that this new 
system will achieve its desired results. The commission will be the mechanism by 
which this goal is achieved. 

The commission will provide support and accountability for the Iowa Department of 
Education, school districts, and the Governor and Iowa Legislature in the following 
ways: 

Iowa Department of Education 

• Advise the director of the Iowa Department of Education on the overall 
effectiveness of the compensation and leadership system and provide 
suggestions for improvement 

• Recommend approval of district compensation and leadership plans to the 
Department 

• Develop ongoing feedback-loops between districts and the Department to 
inform and improve the implementation process 

School Districts 

• Ensure consistent statewide implementation balanced with the need for 
local flexibility 

• Provide districts and schools with "commission-endorsed" examples of 
compensation and leadership systems 

• Communicate best practices across school districts 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 8 



Governor and Iowa Legislature 

• Measure the impact of the legislation on an ongoing, formative basis 

• Issue an annual report on the state of teacher leadership and 
compensation in Iowa to ensure transparency regarding the use and 
impact of funds 

• Provide feedback on teacher compensation and leadership legislation and 
the impact of these laws on the teaching profession 

The development of a commission has several practical advantages. First, it aligns with 
research on effective implementation (see Fixsen, et al, 2005). Second, the 
commission serves to build the capacity of the Iowa Department of Education to 
effectively implement what will certainly be a monumental piece of legislation. At the 
same time, the commission provides an independent voice for key stakeholders. 
Finally, the commission's role in gathering diagnostic information on the implementation 
of the new system models what all good teachers and leaders do - they measure 
progress along the way and not just at one summative point. 

Iowa has been a leader in passing powerful, reform-minded legislation throughout the 
last quarter of a century. Unfortunately, much of it has had little practical impact due to 
varied and minimal fidelity in implementation. The impact of this legislation could have 
been much greater had there been a mechanism to ensure ongoing learning and 
improvement, as well as consistent implementation statewide. We believe that the 
Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation will become the engine that 
powers the continuous improvement of this legislation. 

One final point for consideration is the make-up of the commission. We believe that the 
commission should be appointed by the director of the Iowa Department of Education 
with support from the Governor and Iowa Legislature, but should have broad geographic 
and population representation from diverse stakeholders, including teachers, 
administrators, school board members, parents, post-secondary educators, and 
designees from professional organizations. 

6) Collaborate with districts implementing a mechanism for piloting peer 
assistance and coaching programs. 

We recommend that the Iowa Department of Education collaborate with districts 
implementing a mechanism for piloting peer assistance and coaching programs. A few 
districts in Iowa are adopting peer coaching models. These districts provide an 
excellent opportunity for study. The Iowa Department of Education should be provided 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 1 9 



resources for and be directed to further examine these pilots to identify principles and 
characteristics that can be replicated. 

7) Incentivize teachers to teach in locally and state-defined hard-to-staff 
subjects and high-need schools. 

While Iowa has attempted to incentivize teachers to teach in hard-to-staff subjects and 
in high-need schools (284.1 1 was designed to do this), these efforts stumbled for two 
primary reasons: They were under-funded, and there was little implementation support 
to ensure that the funds were being used for their intended purpose with fidelity. It is 
critical that future efforts in this area be sustained and structural. 

The task force believes that with adequate funding and implementation support, Iowa 
can address its two most critical labor market issues: 

1) High-Need Subjects: Many districts in Iowa struggle to find qualified teachers for 
specific subjects. In some communities, the subjects are math and science; in 
others, it is special education or English as a Second Language. For many 
districts, finding teachers in all of these areas is a challenge. Every Iowa student 
deserves access to a quality classroom instructor. Local districts should have 
the latitude to determine high-need subjects (within reasonable guidelines set by 
the Iowa Department of Education). 

2) High-Need Schools: Iowa needs its best teachers in schools that face the most 
challenges. In some communities, this may mean urban centers; in others, it 
may mean rural communities. Local districts should have the latitude to 
determine high-need schools (within reasonable guidelines set by the Iowa 
Department of Education). These decisions should be determined by the latest 
data and based upon factors including, but not limited to, socioeconomic status 
(SES), English as a Second Language (ESL), and district graduation rates. 

According to Odden and Wallace (2007), "Wage premiums of at least $5,000-6,000 are 
likely needed, over whatever the state average salary benchmarks would be" (p. 20). 
Market-based pay could be funded with a separate pot of money available for schools 
that meet the criteria. This wage premium would be in addition to compensation for 
leadership roles. 

The purpose of these incentives for high-needs subjects and high-need schools is to 
recognize and address shortage areas in the educator labor market. The difference in 
salary is not a reflection of the importance of different roles. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 20 



8) Build upon existing policy and statute, and provide adequate, sustained 
funding and implementation support for teacher leadership. 

Iowa already has teacher leadership roles in state statute. Utilizing existing statute as a 
starting point honors and reinforces those previous policy decisions, which were 
developed with bipartisan support but were, unfortunately, never funded, nor were they 
implemented with fidelity. Supporting existing leadership roles and implementing new 
leadership roles must reflect a systemic approach to improving the teaching profession. 
This new career pathways system does not signal the acceptance that there will be no 
additional resources. It signals that there is a systems problem that cannot be corrected 
merely with additional resources. 

If public education in Iowa is going to continue to be the pathway to a better life for our 
students, and, if the future of our society relies on a creative, intelligent, motivated, and 
educated workforce, it is imperative that the educators of Iowa have multiple 
opportunities to advance themselves professionally. It is the opinion of this task force 
that a way to achieve this desired future for our students is for the state to fully fund the 
career pathways proposal from its inception and moving forward. If the state does not 
fund this program in its entirety, it is the opinion of this task force that the economic cost 
of the pathways program would place crippling financial burdens on local school 
districts, which would justify the non-support for this proposal by this task force. 

9) Set the boundaries of the system, but allow districts to customize within 
those boundaries. 

In the development of any state-led compensation and leadership system, the 
Legislature must recognize the need to strike a careful balance between state policy 
leadership and local control. Any legislative proposals should not negate the process of 
local decision-making by school boards and employee organizations. While the state 
should be clear and explicit about the purpose and goals of the teacher compensation 
and leadership system, local school districts should retain flexibility in the means used 
to attain those goals. Legislation, in combination with Iowa Department of Education 
guidance, should offer design principles and examples of a new teacher compensation 
and leadership system, but, at the same time, the legislation must recognize districts' 
needs to tailor the system to the local context. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 2 1 



At the state level, this means... 

• The state will provide a basic structure of career pathways and compensation to 
which all Iowa school districts will adhere (or districts will provide an alternative 
model that aligns with the goals of the state-provided model). 

• The Governor will establish the standing state Commission on Educator 
Leadership and Compensation, which will guide districts in planning and 
implementing local use of Iowa Educator Career Pathways. This body will 
ensure accountability - that the structure of the Iowa Educator Career Pathways 
is implemented with integrity at the district level, and that choices made on behalf 
of district needs meet or exceed the minimum, state-established boundaries. 

• The state will provide grant opportunities for innovations in teacher leadership 
and the Iowa Educator Career Pathways. 

• Create and maintain a database of teacher leaders for the purpose of sharing 
expertise between districts. 

At the district level, this means... 

• Within the career pathways, districts can identify local needs that can be satisfied 
by the time, level of skills, and competencies of the teacher leader. 

• Local districts will encourage application to, and participation in, teacher 
leadership roles and decide the optimal usage of their skills for their districts. 
The district will assume the role of capacity-builders to ensure a pool of future 
leaders. Local districts will adhere to the state structure for teacher leaders, but 
will design and configure the model to fit their local context. Local districts will 
utilize a Teacher Advisory Committee that will assist administrators in the 
recommended selection procedures. 

• Local districts may use Iowa's cadre of teacher leaders from other districts and/or 
AEAs when necessary. 

• Local districts will support teacher leaders within their charge with opportunities 
for training and professional development appropriate to growth within their 
roles/pathways. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 22 



10) Provide time for local planning and implementation inclusive of teachers in 
the decision-making process. 

In establishing a new teacher leadership and compensation system, we recommend 
that the statewide implementation commences immediately, but that the requirements of 
the system, specifically the leadership structures and compensation requirements, be 
phased in over a three-year time period. 

In addition, the success of this system hinges on teachers owning the creation process 
at the local level. This should not be a top-down process at any level, either from the 
state to districts or from administrators to teachers. Districts should utilize frameworks 
to ensure equal representation of teachers and administrators in the decision-making 
process. 

11) Require districts to implement professional development structures that 
are aligned with the Iowa Professional Development Model, that support 
each career pathway, and that utilize teacher leaders to ensure continuous 
collaboration on student growth. 

Individual districts should be able to determine the best structures to create and support 
required teacher collaboration. Indeed, some already have. What is non-negotiable, 
though, is that in implementing this leadership and compensation system locally, each 
district must have in place a system of professional development that improves 
instruction. In addition, collaboration should be at the center of any teacher leadership 
system. The Iowa Professional Development Model must serve as the driver for all 
professional development decisions (see Appendix E for a description of the Model). 

12) Coordinate the development of teacher leadership pathways with teacher 
preparation programs. 

This recommendation produces three important benefits related to the alignment of 
teacher preparation and the teaching profession: 

1 ) Establishes a seamless process from teacher preparation throughout 
professional development, including induction, residency, and career options for 
all teachers. 

2) Prepares educators early in their preparation for the roles they will fill within our 
educational system. This includes grounding in the various paths that teachers 
may pursue, such as Career, Model, Mentor, or Lead Teachers. 



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3) Facilitates the establishment of a more systematic connection among pre-service 
teachers, faculty in teacher preparation programs, cooperating teachers, Mentor 
Teachers, and Lead Teachers. 

This recommendation also results in three critical needs: 

1 ) The measurement/assessment of "preparedness" for students graduating from 
preparation programs should mirror the multiple measures in teacher 
performance systems used in our schools. 

2) Representatives of preparation programs need to be actively involved in 
proposed legislative and policy efforts related to teacher leadership and 
compensation. 

3) Pre-service teachers should be placed in classrooms of Model Teachers or 
Mentor Teachers and should be observed and mentored by trained Mentor or 
Lead Teachers. A Mentor or Lead Teacher who has a formal relationship with a 
teacher preparation program may be in a position to provide the program- 
required evaluation of a student teacher. 

13)Create a residency year for entry into the teaching profession to build a 
more seamless transition from teacher preparation to practice/employment. 

The first year of full-time teaching as an Initial Teacher should be spent in a residency 
that is marked by the following characteristics: 

• Intensive supervision/mentoring by a Mentor or Lead Teacher who has been 
specially trained for this role (i.e., teaching teachers how to teach). 

• Participation in a capstone seminar that is team-taught by the Mentor/Lead 
Teacher and a faculty member from a qualified teacher preparation program 
(preferably the program from which the resident graduated). 

• Frequent observation, evaluation, and professional development specifically 
designed to link the material taught in the teacher preparation program to the 
specific standards and behaviors that constitute effective teaching. 

• Sufficient collaboration time for the resident teacher to be able to observe and 
learn from Model Teachers in the school and/or in neighboring schools. 



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• Evaluation of resident teachers should mirror the evaluation that will be used 
throughout the rest of the teaching profession, but include observations specific 
to induction into the teaching profession. Evaluation and recommendation should 
be made by the Mentor/Lead Teacher assigned to the resident, the building 
administrator, and the College/University faculty involved in teaching the 
residency seminar. 

In order to strengthen the linkage between teacher preparation and the teaching 
profession, the residency year should be designed so that: 

• The Mentor/Lead Teacher assigned to the resident has knowledge of the teacher 
preparation curriculum so as to make connections between theory and practice. 

• The teacher preparation faculty member should have specific knowledge of the 
resident's school, its characteristics, and its unique challenges. 

• Feedback about the resident's readiness for teaching should be conveyed to the 
resident's teacher preparation program faculty so curriculum adjustments can be 
made, if necessary. 

Finally, the residency year should not replace the clinical component of teacher 
preparation, but it may allow for significant and qualitative improvements in the pre- 
service placements. The Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Board 
of Educational Examiners, and Iowa Department of Education should consider creating 
a specific credential needed for Mentor/Lead Teachers who work with resident teachers. 



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Conclusion 

The Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation respectfully submits these 
recommendations for consideration. 

This document represents our best advice, as a knowledgeable body of professionals, 
on how to tap teacher leadership and how to use compensation as a supporting lever in 
an effort to both strengthen the teaching profession and improve student results. These 
recommendations represent the consensus of the group. If acted upon, we believe they 
will form the basis of both a policy and culture shift in Iowa's education system that will 
ensure that all students in Iowa receive a world-class education. 

We are confident that this plan will fulfill the goals of our mission statement, which we 
drafted during our first meeting in March. Specifically, this system will: 

• Create a world-renowned teacher leadership system that guarantees the finest 
teachers in Iowa's classrooms. 

• Create the most student-centered, learning-focused, teacher-led schools in the 
world. 

• Create teacher leadership pathways to increase collaboration, strengthen the 
teaching profession, attract and retain highly effective educators, and prepare 
students to be successful in their next stages of life. 

• Provide a vision for teacher leadership through research, collaboration, and 
results. 

• Make Iowa THE leader in education by improving student learning through 
shared leadership. 

We approach the months ahead with a sense of optimism and possibility. We look 
forward to continuing to support this important work as it moves forward. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 26 



References 

Curtis, R.E., City, E.A. 2009. Strategy in Action. Harvard Education Press. Cambridge, 
MA. 

Fixsen, D.L., Naoom, S.F., Blase, K.A., Friedman, R.M. and Wallace, F. 2005. 
Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, FL: University of South 
Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation 
Research network (FMHI Publication #231). 

Odden, A. Allan Odden and Wallace, M. 2007. Redesigning Teacher Salary Structures: 
A Handbook for State and Local Policy Makers 

OECD. Building a High-Quality Teaching Profession - Lessons from around the world. 
2011. 



More reference materials are available on the task force's wiki site: http://iatchrldr.wikispaces.com/ 
Iowa Department of Education Page | 27 



Appendices 

Appendix A: Sample Selection Process 

For the Model, Mentor, and Lead Teacher Positions the selection will consist of three 
groups making a collective decision. 

a. Each district (or school) will establish a Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC). This 
Teacher Advisory Committee will consist of 5, 7 or 9 teachers (selected by the 
staff) that will process the application of classroom teachers interested in 
becoming a Model, Mentor, or Lead Teacher. The TAC members will vote on 
each candidate's application. The TAC will either recommend or deny the 
application by simple majority. 

b. Building administrators will review the application to determine if the applicant is 
the correct teacher for the Model, Mentor, or Lead Teacher position. 
Administrators, as a group, will have one yes or no vote. 

c. Each teacher will have a collaborative teaching partner (assigned at the 
beginning of each year) that will review the application. The peer partner will 
have one yes or no vote. 

Once the three votes are tallied, if the applicant has at least two 'yes' votes from the 
three applicant review groups, the applicant is officially eligible for the pathway to which 
he/she applied. If there are multiple applicants, the school district will conduct interviews 
to determine who (and how many) will serve as Model, Mentor and Lead Teachers. 

Appendix B: Salary Calculations 

The starting base pay for BA/BS shall be equivalent to the average starting base pay for 
BA/BS graduates employed in Iowa in similar non-teaching fields. This average for non- 
teaching fields shall be multiplied by 12/12 for 12-month teachers, by 10/12 for 
traditional-contract (approximately 195 days) teachers. We estimate that using all 
applicable data would produce a starting base pay in the range of $40,000 to $45,000 
for 195-day contracts and $49,000 to $54,000 for 12-month contracts. 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 28 



Table 3-14: Iowa Salary Comparisons by Occupation, 2010 and 2011 




Average Salary 




Occupation 


2010 


2011 


Percent 
Change 2010- 
2011 


Electrical Engineer 


$ 77,030 


$ 77,660 


0.8% 


Civil Engineer 


$ 75,150 


$ 75,020 


-0.2% 


Software Developer, Applications 


$ 72,972 


$ 74,730 


2.4% 


Computer Programmers 


$ 64,550 


$ 64,820 


0.4% 


Accountant & Auditor 


$ 60,840 


$ 61,550 


1 .2% 


Speech-Language Pathologist 


$ 60,940 


$ 63,610 


4.4% 


Registered Nurse 


$ 51,970 


$ 53,300 


2.6% 


Teacher 


$ 49,473 


$ 49,794 


0.6% 


Child, Family and School Social Worker 


$ 39,040 


$ 37,790 


-3.2% 


Interior Designer 


$ 43,400 


$ 44,900 


3.5% 



Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Iowa, May 201 and May 201 1 . 
Note: Teacher average salaries are average regular salaries based on Iowa Department of Education, Basic Educational Data 
Survey, Staff files. 

Appendix C: Iowa Career Pathways Compensation Proposal 
Career Teachers 

• Career Teachers receive a recommended minimum 1 percent increase in 
salary when they move from an Initial to a Career Teacher role 

• Career Teachers are placed on Step 1 of the salary schedule that 
provides annual cost-of-living raises 

Model Teachers 

• We are not recommending a specific amount, but based on their earning 
and accepting a Model Teacher role we feel Model Teachers should 
receive some additional salary augmentation 

Mentor Teachers 

• Mentor Teachers are provided an annual extended contract at their per 
diem rate of pay for the step and lane that they are on 

• Mentor Teachers also receive a recommended minimum 1 percent 
increase in salary 

Lead Teachers 

• Receive an annual extended contract at a per diem rate to cover the time 
they are required to spend each year being trained in using the evaluation 
instrument and any additional days for planning PD 

• Receive a recommended minimum 10 percent increase in salary as long 
as they stay in this role 

• Receive annual step increases the same as all teachers 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 29 



Nationally Board Certified Teachers 

• Teachers achieving NBPTS certification should continue to be 
compensated by the state 

• Teachers achieving NBPTS certification should be given special 
consideration for teacher leadership roles 

Appendix D: Other Career Pathway Compensation Examples 

Eagle County, Colorado 

• Mentor Teachers 

- Classroom responsibilities 70 percent of the day 

- Traditional calendar contract plus a maximum of 1 additional days 

- Provides cluster group leadership 

- Coaching and evaluation of teachers 

- Paid $4,500 stipend for extra days and responsibilities 

• Master Teachers 

- Classroom responsibilities 30 percent of the day 

- Traditional calendar contract plus a maximum of 20 additional days 

- Oversees all cluster groups 

- Coaching and evaluation of teachers 

- Paid $1 0,350 stipend for extra days and responsibilities 

Baltimore, MD 

• Standard Pathway 

- Focus on instruction, professional development 

- Upon Entry: $46,773 

- Top Step: $52,643 

• Professional Pathway 

- Focus on classroom success; active in school-based roles 

- Upon Entry: $58,434 

- Top Step: $82,769 

• Model Pathway 

- Serve as a model of excellence; play a leadership role; create professional 
development opportunities 

- Upon Entry: $85,337 

- Top Step: $91,337 



Iowa Department of Education Page | 30 



• Lead Pathway 

- Serve as lead academic teacher at a school; collaborate with the principal to 
improve academic performance 

- Upon Entry: $92,916 

- Top Step: $99,316 

TAP System 

• Mentor Teacher 

- Earn approximately $3,000 stipend 

- Lead professional development and provide on-going support to teachers 

• Master Teacher 

- Earn approximately $6,000 stipend 

- Lead professional development and provide on-going support to teachers 
Appendix E: Iowa Professional Development Model 



Operating Principles ( go to definitions ) 

• Focus on Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 

• Participative Decision Making (School & District) 

• Leadership 

• Simultaneity 




Iowa Department of Education 



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